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Balikatan 2023 To Start April 11

Balikatan 2023 To Start April 11
American troops salute as their national anthem is played during the opening ceremonies of Salaknib 2023, the annual bilateral exercise between the Philippines and the United States at Fort Magsaysay in Palayan, Nueva Ecija on Monday, March 13, 2023. Photo by KJ Rosales, The Philippine STAR

The 2023 Philippines-US Balikatan Exercises would begin on April 11, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Saturday, March 18.

AFP spokesman Medel Aguilar said at a news forum that representatives from Australia and Japan will also arrive and serve as main observers of the military exercises.

“The RP-US Balikatan Exercises formal opening will be next month. The advance parties for the RP-US Balikatan Exercises will arrive this month. It would take more than two weeks to prepare for the exercises,” Aguilar said.

He stressed that this year’s Balikatan is important to strengthen the military capability of the AFP and make it sophisticated.

He added that a combined and joint information bureau of the Philippines and US will be established for Balikatan.

Officials earlier said 17,600 military personnel would participate in the exercises that will run from April 11 to 28. At least 12,000 of them are American troops while the rest will be comprised of the Philippine military.

This year’s Balikatan is said to be the largest joint military exercise held in the country.